I hope this finds you well and you’re enjoying the warmer weather. Last week was a busy week, we finished passing our House supplemental budget proposals and are now in conference committees. House and Senate members are working together to craft consensus legislation on their assigned bill, and then ideally return the legislation one last time to the House and Senate to be passed to Governor Walz for his signature. Here’s an update from the Capitol:
Work on Session Omnibus Bills
We have advanced our House proposals in the following areas:
Robust Advancements in Higher Education
The House has approved a package of $250 million in investments to improve student affordability, equity, well-being and safety, and campus sustainability.
As chair of the House Higher Education Committee, it was an honor to craft the bill with and for students. No matter where they are born, or where they live in our state, this legislation will open doors for all Minnesotans, so they can earn a degree, or the technical skills needed to succeed and thrive.
The bill includes our ‘Land of 10,000 Opportunities’ plan which will make free 2-year college free for families making up to $75,000, and for families making up to $125,000 they will receive 50-95% of tuition and fees. This bill increases the 2021 investments that support teachers of color, underrepresented student teachers, and students who are also parents trying to finish degrees. The bill also makes historic changes for students with intellectual disabilities seeking access to higher education. The Inclusive Higher Education grants in the bill will open doors on college campuses to thousands of unserved or underserved students with intellectual disabilities. The bill also increases investments to support Native American students and increases funding for Minnesota’s Tribal Colleges.
Frontline Worker Pay Update
The House, Senate, and Governor recently came together on a bipartisan compromise to deliver $500 million in bonus payments to frontline workers. Additionally, the measure fully replenished the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, helping businesses avoid an unnecessary tax increase. Our frontline heroes put their own health and safety on the line to keep our state moving, and as a result of this bill, hundreds of thousands of health care workers, first responders, child care providers, food service and retail workers, and many more will receive an extra bonus.
Frontline workers are encouraged to visit frontlinepay.mn.gov and subscribe to receive updates about the application process. An application system is in development and should be live in early June. Once the application window opens, workers will have 45 days to apply. A full FAQ document, including eligibility information, is available here.
Some businesses have already paid their first quarter taxes, and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has indicated they will issue refunds and credits. Resources for business owners are available here.
Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Awareness Month. Due to the pandemic, the mental health needs of youth have been rising significantly in the country. Our House education bill invests to make sure that mental health resources are available and accessible. The bill includes dedicated investment to hire 1,100 additional counselors, social workers, school psychologists, school nurses, and chemical dependency specialists.
Our higher education bill funds MinnState’s requests to increase mental health and student basic needs support to help provide students with the services they need to be healthy and productive on campus.
Filing Storm Damage Insurance Claims
If you had storm damage recently, the Minnesota Department of Commerce offers Minnesotans guidance on steps to take when filing an insurance claim after storms damage their home, business or other property that occurred.
Key tips for filing insurance claims to your property:
Question or complaint about your insurance company?
If you have questions, complaints or problems with your insurance company, contact the Minnesota Department of Commerce Consumer Services Center:
You can submit complaint online or call Commerce’s Consumer Services Center.
Keep in Touch
Please continue to reach out anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-5510. I appreciate your input and questions and love hearing from you.
Thank you for the honor of representing our communities at the State Capitol.